Dieter Schmid's Fine Tools

Feldmann’s Musical Saw

DIRECTIONS for playing "Feldmann’s Singing Saw"

Feldmann’s Musical Saw

(Original directions from used with the friendly permission of the manufacturer)

Feldmann’s Musical Saw

The "Singing Saw" is a guaranteed success as an addition to many kinds of music groups. Today this interesting and unique instrument, which produces a beautiful, full, abundant sound, has worked its way into the national consciousness, and into many choirs and musical groups as a foundation of their sound.

This becomes easy to understand if one has heard one played by a musician who understands the instrument and can control it completely.

While sitting on a chair, you hold the saw’s grip between your knees so that the saw blade stands straight up. In your right hand you hold a well-rosined bow. One can use a violin or cello bow, or one made specially for the saw. It can also be tapped with a mallet. The saw is bowed along the edge of the saw, moving the bow more or less at a right angle to the blade.

One holds the end of the saw with the thumb, index, and middle finger of the left hand to adjust the curvature of the blade to change the tone.

While playing, one must maintain a light but continuous tension in the blade. One can hear how the notes change as the saw is bent. Lower notes are found toward the base of the saw, and they rise as one moves up the blade, but the unique aspect of the singing saw is the "singing" sound, not unlike the electronic theramin made popular in many tunes from the 60’s and 70’s. A round-toned vibrato can be achieved by bending the saw back and forth as the note is played or left to ring.

The saw has at least a 3-octave range, and when one wants to play the higher notes, one begins the bend not at the grip but in the middle of the saw and the range can extend as high as that of a piano..

After enough practice to enable one to make the notes as described above, one can best start with slow tunes, ballads and the like. The instrument works best playing the melody accompanied by piano, accordion, violin, cello, etc.

In the beginning, new players often have problems with stray noises and difficulty achieving a pure tone. But as one practices and learns the instrument, these sounds gradually disappear. One need not know music to play the Singing Saw, as one can simply play it by ear.

(Reproduction of instructions is forbidden)

The saw comes with a carrying case in a tough nylon cloth.

Feldmann's Singende Säge
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